How to Mount a Cateye Strada Computer on a Surly Long Haul Trucker

One of the members of the Surly Long Haul Trucker Google Group bought a new LHT.

His LBS was having a hard time mounting the sensor for his Cateye V2C computer because it wanted to go where Surly puts the spare spokes.

I sent him to a page showing how my Cateye Strada Cadence computer was mounted.

Unfortunately, when I downloaded the docs for his computer, the sensor wasn’t a simple as mine. It looked like it really DID want to mount on the top of the chain stay.

I have a Cateye Strada Cadence Computer

My LBS discouraged me from buying a wireless computer. They said they have found that folks who use their bikes a lot burn batteries quickly. (I’ve been slacking off lately, so I’m afraid a battery would have lasted me a long time.) They are also prone to freaking out or going blank in an urban environment with lots of high voltage EMF floating around.

They recommended the Cateye Strada Cadence Computer.

How to mount the speed sensor on an LHT

A little bit of rubber material folded up brought the speed sensor close enough that it could pick up the spoke-mounted magnet. The two small nylon ties don’t interfere with the spare spokes.

Cadence pick-up mounts the same way

This sensor faces outward toward the crank arm and pedal. The nylon ties clear the spokes easily.

Rare earth magnets work very well

I’ve had trouble keeping magnets mounted to my crank arm when using factory-supplied parts. My kid brother, Mark, turned me on to the idea of using tiny rare earth magnets sticking onto the crank arm to trigger the sensor.

When I mounted them on my Trek 1220, I bought my first set of magnets from Radio Shack and put a drop of Marine Goop on the crank arm. (Goop is the greatest thing since sliced bread and binder twine.) It stuck for several years and thousands of miles with no issues.

Rare Earth Magnet on Candy C pedal on LHT

When I bought my Surly Long Haul Trucker, I found that the sensor / magnet sweet spot would let me put the magnets directly on the Crank Brothers Candy C Pedal spindle. I used two of them stacked to get them close enough for the sensor to trigger. I didn’t even bother with the Goop this time. The magnetic attraction is enough to keep them anchored to the pedal.

I also found I could buy larger, cheaper magnets from Amazon. I use the Magcraft NSN0573 3/8-Inch by 1/8-Inch Rare Earth Magnets that sell 30 for $10.99. It’s amazing h0w many ways you can use them. (Once my grandson was old enough that I didn’t have to worry about him swallowing them, we Gooped them on a bunch of his toys so he could pick them up with a toy crane.)

Year in Review: Surly Long Haul Trucker

Surly Long Haul Trucker in front of mural showing Mississippi River clogged with ice in 1918

I saw my first LHT in the wild when my Trek 1220 was at Cape Bicycle getting a shifter replaced. I wish I had put the money into an LHT instead of the repair. I really liked the LHT's look and feel, but wasn't sure I was ready to buy a new bike.

Checking the angle of the kneeWhen I got back home, a buddy of mine offered to sell me his Cannondale T800 at a good price. I was torn. Did I want to buy a used bike and make it fit me or make the jump to a LHT?

Bike fit is worth it

My first stop was to get a professional fitting to see if the Cannondale was right for me and to see which LHT would be suitable. The fitting was a good investment. I wish I had done it years ago. Read about it here. The best part is that the fitting was free if I bought a bike from them.

The fitting determined that the T800 WOULD work if I did some tweaking, but after polling the phreds and getting Wife Lila's blessing, I decided I'd rather have a brand new bike. After all, I had just retired. I DESERVED a new bike.

When the new bike came in, the LBS did a final fitting to get everything dialed in right.

Bringing my baby home for the first time

Surly Long Haul Trucker coming home for first timeI finally got to wheel my LHT into the driveway and go on its first ride. I tell folks that the Surly Long Haul Trucker is a Peterbilt, not a Ferrari: both of them will get up to 80 mph, but the Peterbilt can do it with 40 tons on board.

Adding a second stem gave me plenty of cockpit room for all my toys, plus my Arkel Small Bar Bag.

Building a wheel around a SON hub

The next big step was to get a wheel built around my SON generator hub. I'm fairly pleased with the video and I'm REALLY pleased with the hub and wheel.

Surly Long Haul Trucker with Cyo IQ and Flare5 headlghtsI later replaced my B&M DLumotec Oval N Plus and B&M Lumotec generator lights with a single Busch & Muller Lumotec IQ Cyo R N Plus. The Cyo IQ easily puts out more and better light than the other two combined. You can see a video of the installation here.

I kept the taillight setup I had on my Trek 1220. My NiteRider battery died, so I took it off the bike, but I haven't gotten around to removing the NiteRider taillight. I think this video will give you an idea of why I don't think anyone should miss seeing me at night.

Four-year-old demonstrates Click-Stand

I use a ESGE/Pletscher Double-legged kickstand AND a Click-Stand to hold the bike up (not at the same time). It's overkill, but they both have their uses.

I have a much-loved Brooks Champion Flyer that I almost killed with too much Proofide. I cover it when it rains. It is perched on top of a Velo Orange Grand CRU seat post which allows finer adjustments to saddle position than the factory post.

Few problems with my LHT

Surly Long Haul Trucker seat post clampI've only had a couple of problems with my nearly-year-old Surly. My seat tube had a tendency to slip down. On one ride, I cranked a fraction of a turn too far and snapped off the seat tube clamp bolt.

That caused me to stock up on some spare bolts and take an inventory of the tools I carry on the bike.

Some bolts are rusting

Some rust has shown up on some of the bolts. I guess that's to be expected when you live surrounded by blowing salt air like we do here in South Florida.

Rusted bolts on Surly Long Haul Trucker crank

Building a Wheel for My Surly Long Haul Trucker

Building a wheel is easy if you know what you’re doing. I don’t, so I turned to Wayne at Bicycle in West Palm Beach when I wanted my SON generator hub built into the front wheel of my new Surly Long Haul Trucker. (Wayne and his shop, Bicycle, are one-name entities, like Cher or Paris.)

I promised back in January that I’d post a video of the process when I learned the rudiments of how to do it.

Wayne builds a 26″ wheel around my SON generator

Wayne took the hub off the front wheel of my old Trek 1220, where it had been whirring away without a problem for four or five years. He ordered a 32-count Alex Adventurer 26-inch rim similar to the one supplied on the Surly Long Haul Trucker Complete. The original wheel is a 36-spoke-count rim, but the SON hub is a 32, so I had to send the first wheel back. I also needed spokes, nipples and Wayne.

Total cost for the new wheel (excluding taxes and shipping)

    Wayne trues wheel with SON hub for Surly Long Haul Trucker

  • Alex Adventurer Rim – $34.98
  • Spokes – $35.20
  • Nipples – 3.84
  • Labor – $30.00
  • GRAND TOTAL – $104.02

It’s running straight and true

I’ve been riding it for almost eight months now and it’s still running straight and true, despite potholes and railroad crossings.

I’m not surprised. This is the third wheel Wayne has built for me.

Surly Long Haul Trucker Second Stem

Surly Long Haul Trucker Second StemTo make more room on my Surly Long Haul Trucker’s cockpit, I added a sec0nd stem that holds my Arkel Small Handlebar bag, bell, AirZound horn and my video camera mount.

I described it when I first got installed it and posted links to some other folks who had done it.

Reader wants to know more about second stem

David Driscoll left me a comment:

HEY THERE! I contacted once before some time ago about your Surly LHT. Thanks to your help, I purchased one… and so far am loving it. It seems a little big at times.. I am only 5′5… but it is the right size as the others were too small…

I have back and front racks with Arkel Bags. And a front Arkel bag and trunk. Got the Green bike an black bags. I had top brake levers put in.

NOW I can’t put my front bag on or my computer, light, etc…

Second Stem on Surly Long Haul Trucker

I see your two extra bars so to speak. I tried to print out the pics to take to my bike shop but they way the pop up I can’t do so. Could you e mail me the pics and info on what kind these are and how you did them. They are perfect.

I am getting ready to do a bike tour through Glacier National Park in 2 weeks… so my time is running out. :-) Going for 4 days. I just did a weekend bike ride from San Simeon, CA to Big Sur, CA on the coast. It was beautiful.

Thanks a million for any help you can offer me on these bars. AND for all your info on the site. BIG HELP.

David Driscoll

Second Stem DSC_2597Second stem made up spare parts

There’s nothing special or exotic about my set up. I had enough room on my stem and primary handlebar stem to take out a couple of spacers and slide in a stem off my kid’s Bianchi. Wayne at my LBS had a mountain bike handlebar in his junk drawer and he cut it off short enough to go between my drops.

I was afraid I’d have to drill a hole in the second stem for the brake cable, but Wayne was able to add an accessory that changed the angle enough to clear the stem. (Since the second stem really isn’t carrying much weight, it wouldn’t have hurt it to drill the hole.)

Great for holding Arkel handlebar bag

Second Stem for Surly Long Haul Trucker and Arkel handlebar bag mountsEven if I didn’t carry the kitchen sink, the second bar is a great place to mount my handlebar bag.

It lowers the center of gravity slightly and allows a bar-mounted be-seen light to shoot over the top of it.

Dave, if this doesn’t help, let me know and I’ll give it another shot.

VO Grand Cru Seat Post Adds Comfort to LHT

My kids have heard all the stories about how I delivered newspapers when I was 12-years-old. My route was uphill both ways, covered in ice and snow year-round except for those days when eggs were frying on the pavement. And, of course, I was tough enough that I could do it on a single-speed Schwinn without a seat.

I traded my Schwinn for a Surly

John Palmquist checking my bike fit measurements
John Palmquist checking my bike fit measurements

I’m not that tough these days.

I bought a Surly Long Haul Trucker just because it was designed for long distance comfort. I ride with a Brooks Champion Flyer leather saddle because the springs absorb the bumps and road buzz and the leather molds itself to me, not the other way around.

Lance Armstrong is know as Mr. Millimeter because he is very precise in the way his bike is set up. And, it’s true. Once you’ve been riding a lot, you can tell when something is out by a 16th of an inch.

The saddle is one of the three points you contact your bike (saddle, pedals and handlebars) and it’s the place where you can be comfortable OR in agony.

Tilt is important

In addition to saddle height, there’s also how far fore and aft it goes and the tilt of the saddle. Tilt it too far down and you feel like you’re sliding off it. Tilt it too far back and the nose of the saddle digs into places you don’t want it digging.

This seat post uses a single bolt
This seat post uses a single bolt

Most seat tubes (the stem-like thing that the seat attaches to) have only one bolt to control all those adjustments. The up and down piece usually has notches in it. If your preferred angle hits one of those notches, you’re good; if not, you aren’t quite as comfortable as you could be.

Brooks saddles with springs, like mine, are usually ridden slightly nose-high. Mine was close to right using the seat post that came with my LHT, but I read a lot of discussions on the phred list and the Surly group recommending posts that have two bolts and no notches to allow more precise adjustments and that have more “setback.”

Velo Orange’s Grand Cru got high marks

Here’s the official description

These polished two bolt seat posts have a generous 30.2mm of setback, among the longest ever. This is very important for those who ride Brooks saddles which have very little fore-and-aft adjustment due to the short rails.

Velo Orange Grand Cru seat post, long setbackThe VO posts are internally ovalized to reduce weight to 254gms. The adjustment is from the bottom and the two bolt design makes it easy to precisely adjust the seat angle. Also note that the head is integral with the post, not pressed on as on many modern posts. This makes them stronger and lighter. The quality and finish is second to none.

27.2mm only x 300mm. Maximum height (above the min. insert line) is about 23cm.

Grand Cru sure is pretty

The seat post sure was shiny and pretty.

Velo Orange Grand Cru seat post, long setbackYou can see how the two bolts will allow much better precision.

Crank down on the back one to raise the nose; tighten the front one to lower it. Because there are no notches, there are no limits an infinite number of fine adjustments.

Take careful measurements

Measuring the original Surly Long Haul Trucker seat postThe first step in the transition was to not mess up the careful fit I had gotten when I bought the bike.

I wanted to duplicate as closely as possible the old seat height and setback. I would eyeball the tilt and adjust it to feeling.

The actual measurements weren’t important. I was just going for the relative adjustments. I used an old-fashioned wooden folding ruler to nail the distances.

My first pass was pretty close

When I took it out for a spin, I needed to raise the seat by about an eighth of an inch. The fore-aft was OK and the tilt was good right away.

I’m happy with the product and the result.

Brooks Champion Flyer on Velo Orange Grand Cru seat post